Our History

Our History   

 First Baptist Church of Palacios, Texas

Organized January  30, 1905


With the coming of the railroad to the Texas Gulf Coast in 1903, Palacios loomed as a budding agricultural center. Realizing the need for education on the frontier and with little support from the Baptist denomination nor the local inhabitants, Reverend W. H. Travis started Palacios Baptist College and Academy in what is now the Foley Addition. As soon as this was in operation, Bro. Travis sought those of like faith and order. The fruition was the Palacios Missionary Baptist Church. The date was January 30, 1905. 

The charter members were Rev. and Mrs. Travis and their son, Eldon, Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery, and Mr. and Mrs. D. D. Rittenhouse (the undertaker). Mr. Montgomery was received by baptism and the rest were received by letter. The Baptist Manual, by Newton Brown, was the guide used for following proper procedures while conducting both spiritual and business matters. They extended their charter membership through March of that year, according to the best information we can obtain from the minutes of the church. Consequently, on March 13, 1905, Dr. J. R. Elliot (the local doctor) and Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Hillyer (the railroad agent) were accepted as charter members by action of the church. These are the last of the names of charter members to be mentioned in the church minutes. These following additional members were received during the first year of the church's history: B. H. Smith in April 1905; Spurgeon Smith, Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Garrett and their daughters, Cora and Mattie on October 1, 1905; Rev. and Mrs. M. S. Kerby, Seth and Emma Kerby, Lummie Lewis, and T. W. Bond on October 15, 1905; Mr. and Mrs. D. P. Arrhart and daughter, Helen, were the last members received within the first year of the church history on January 6, 1906. 

In October 1905, the church was received into the Colorado Baptist Association at the annual meeting in Rock Island, Texas, with the name changed to First Baptist Church of Palacios. In the meantime, the small band of people met at times in the one-room school near the present East Side School; and at other times, worship services were held in the Methodist Church building. The group had grown to include, among others, Mrs. Mary Elder and her nine children, Mr. and Mrs. William Ellis with their large family, Mrs. Margaret Tate, Mrs. C. D. Sanders, and Mrs. Grace Smith.

Early records seem more concerned with the problems of soliciting funds to pay the pastor, but there were other happenings as well. In January 1906, on the eve of the church's first birthday, it was learned that following a severe Gulf storm at La Porte, the State Baptist Convention was searching for a more suitable coastal site for a summer retreat. A special telegram was sent from the First Baptist Church to R. H. Coleman, urging that the location of the annual encampment of the Baptist Young People's Union (B.Y.P.U.) be in Palacios. The whole town supported our church in this invitation and proudly entertained Mr. Robert H. Coleman, Dr. George W. Truett, and other officials who would come from Dallas to look over the situation. They were lodged at the Palacios Hotel, the best team of horses met them at the train, ladies loaned their finest linens and china, and an abundant feast was prepared and served. Dr. Truett cast the deciding vote for Palacios. His reasoning was that Palacios was so far from any large city that there would not be the customary sinful distractions. The Townie Company generously gave Hamilton Point to be the site of the retreat grounds, and construction was promptly begun. Once the worship center was completed, the encampment boasted of a new beautiful tabernacle overlooking the water and our church began holding worship services there until we could construct our own facilities. The first State B.Y.P.U. Encampment was held in Palacios on Hamilton Point July 12-18, 1906. The encampment has blessed this church throughout the years.

In January 1906, the church began a mid-week prayer service on Wednesday evenings. This time of weekly spiritual renewal continues to this present day.

The duties of the Palacios Bible College and Academy, as well as being pastor of First Baptist Church, demanded much of Rev. Travis' time; thus, he resigned in May 1906.

On October 3, 1906, Brother M. J. Derrick of Mississippi was called as pastor and moved on the field. In August 1907, Brother Derrick resigned.

In September 1907, Dr. M. M. Wolf, of the Academy, was called as pastor. Rev. H. A. Echoes, his brother-in-law, was his assistant. Sometime between then and March 10, 1909, Dr. Wolf resigned, and later became the pastor of the large South Main Baptist Church in Houston. 

The year 1909 witnessed more growth. New additions in the church included the John W. Richards family. The Margerum family moved to Palacios and joined First Baptist. Also, the John Partain family left their farm at Ashby, Texas, came to Palacios and quickly moved their letters from the thriving church at Hawley. Roberta Partain first saw her future husband playing the violin in the church services; and John Richards continued to play as long as he was able. One of the preacher boys at the college named Verner Stokes joined our church. Earl and Bessie Hill were baptized. Miss Sallie Smith, a little lady in a wheelchair, was the real prayer power in the church for many years. It appears Bro. M. E. Hudson was the pastor of First Baptist during that time because there is record of his resignation on March 10, 1909, due to the critical illness of his wife. Bro Echoes was then asked to serve as supply pastor, and did so until July of that same year.

At this time, July 1909, Rev. G. W. Sherman was called as pastor. Funds for building were slow in coming. The original white frame church was built on the corner of Welch and Second Street, on property provided by the Townie Company. An early report states that the original plan had been simplified to include only a tabernacle. However, in November of 1909, the building was enlarged and a parsonage on the present site were erected jointly at a cost of $4,000.00. In December of 1909, the church voted to begin a rotation system of deacons. We were one of the earliest churches in the state to try such a plan. Records have been found regarding baptismal services conducted in the bay near the B.Y.P.U. grounds during the early years of the church. In July 1910, Bro. Sherman resigned as pastor of the church. 

In December 1910, Bro. J. W. Israel was called as the pastor, coming on the field in February 1911. The budget for the church in the year of 1913, is listed as $2,606.50. The Ladies Aid reported a membership of 22 with an average attendance of 12. The Sunday School reported an enrollment of 200 with an average attendance of 135. On January 25, 1914, Bro. Israel resigned.

The church then called Bro. R. T. Hanks to be the pastor on April 5, 1914. He served the church until February 27, 1916, at which time he resigned.

On March 24, 1917, A. C. Gettys was called as pastor of the church. On August 1, 1917, Bro. Gettys resigned as pastor, becoming effective the first of September.

On December 26, 1917, Bro. Evander Ammons of Houston was called by the church. He served as pastor until June 16, 1918. 

The church called Bro. H. A. Echoes as pastor on October 27, 1918. Due to the closing of the Academy and the resulting decrease of attendance for services and their financial help, one of the first endeavors of the new pastor was to encourage the congregation to adopt a church budget of $2,000.00 for the year 1919. From the written records, it appears that sometime between December 14, 1923, and September 21, 1924, Bro. Echoes resigned.

Bro. H. G. Fraser was called as pastor on December 14, 1924, and served until January 6, 1926. He was a distinguished looking white-haired man. Things went from bad to worse as he favored the older people with financial means and discriminated against the young people and their programs. Things were in a serious state when the children began chanting, "The ole gray mare, she ain't what she used to be." He dyed his hair red, but still he stayed buoyed up by a few old folks. Finally, in a business meeting, a devoted lady arose and asked that the pupit be declared vacant. This upset the pastor, and he promptly asked one of his dear devotees, Mrs. Berry, to dismiss the meeting. She prayed that the seat of the trouble be struck down, and at that moment, she dropped dead in the church. A doctor was present, but nothing could be done. Bro. Fraser gathered a few older people around him and started a small congregation across town (Central Baptist Church). This church only lasted a short while until the old people expired.

In the meantime, a redhead evangelist came to First Baptist for a protracted revival and many rural people were added to the church. The redheaded cowboy preacher, Bro. Winsett, recommended Bro. J. A. Derrick (no relation to the second pastor mentioned earlier), as pastor of our church. 

Bro. J. A. Derrick was called along with his vivacious wife. Inspired by leadership of the Encampment, many innovations were made. At this point, the Unified Budget System was adopted on the Church Finance Program. The budget for 1928 was suggested as $4,000.00. This was a nice raise over the work that had been done previously. Later business minutes indicate that this called for some very diligent work on the part of the church to meet the demands of the budget. An organized Sunday School and Training Union (although it was called B.Y.P.U. in those days), and Women's Missionary Society were developed according to state guidelines. An Every-Member Canvas was held, and tithing was preached, along with the standardized Sunday School and Training Union sessions. Mrs. Cairnes was the Sunday School Superintendent for years; she said we would be 'Standard,' and when Mrs. Cairnes told you to do something, you did it! Thus, yearly pennants were nailed to the wall. The banners continued until they were disintegrated by the moths and were no longer stylish. We started funds for a Sunday School building, but funds were slow in coming. Bro. Derrick resigned as pastor in 1930, and left for the budding town of New Gulf. 

Our most handsome pastor followed in October 1930. Bro. Carroll B. Ray served three very fruitful years here at First Baptist in Palacios. Much to the disgust of women with eligible daughters, he married a Presbyterian! We took Maxine to our hearts and she became a devoted Baptist preacher's wife. While Brother Ray was pastor, the church was badly in need of remodeling. So, in 1930 / 1931, the church borrowed from the Educational Building Fund to build a new entrance, remodel the church balcony, and install gas heat.

Our next pastor, Bro. George W. McClelland, fresh out of the seminary with his bride, was called in November 1933. He was asked to perform a marriage ceremony, which had more influence on our church than any other. It was the marriage of Claire Partain, our pianist, and Arnold Burton, the choir director, church treasurer, deacon, electrician and "general flunky." Everyone was so surprised; this was a match for all times. Bro. McClelland left in the summer of 1936 to work in Missouri and Kansas.

In 1936, Bro. Lloyd Chapman came to town to visit his Baylor girlfriend, Dixie Brown, before enrolling in Southwestern Seminary. He was asked, on the spur of the moment, to lead the Wednesday evening prayer service. The young people decided he was to be our next pastor. So, we packed the pews the next Sunday and voted him in. He married his sweetheart and encouraged the men to build a much-needed educational building west of the church. Our first baptistry joined the two buildings. While spending a brief vacation in Palacios, Henry Alley was persuaded to paint a scene on the back of the baptistry. Lumber for the baptistry was provided by the dismantled Baptist Hut at Camp Hulen, since the 36th Division was not using it for summer camp at that time. In July of 1933, Bro. Chapman left for the seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, to finish his educational training.

Bro. L. W. Crouch of Victoria was called in November 1938, to lead the church. Not only did he win the hearts of the entire town, but of thousands of soldiers stationed at Camp Hulen. He patiently ministered to the congregation in a very critical time. His eight-year ministry with us included years of growth due to the activation of Camp Hulen and the World War II years. He was a sympathetic man who welcomed the men and women who came from the far corners of the USA. The church gave full support to the war effort. We were unprepared for the sudden influx of different sorts of people, but our pastor organized us to do our part. Many came from distant states for a taste of Texas hospitality. The ministry to the soldiers included not only the Sunday services, but Thursday night parties and sings directed by Mrs. Clyde Slaughter and Lois Harbison. The church's war efforts were not a one-way street; however, for the soldiers pumped enthusiasm into the church and showed us there are fine people outside the State of Texas. More than that, we were cheered to think some soldiers might be comforted later on the battlefields by recalling the hymn, #400 in the Broadman Hymnal, No, Never Alone, so often requested by those men in uniform while in our congregation. Later, some of them came back to our church in Palacios when the war was over, and others carried off our girls. Bro. Crouch was asked by the Colorado Baptist Association to become our first Associational Missionary. He left our church to assume that work in December 1945. 

Bro. J. W. Reaves came to Palacios in January 1946, to be our pastor. He did not stay long, because his desire was to further his education; thus, he entered the Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth in August 1946.

Bro. Rayford Harris because pastor in October of 1946, and he served our church for twenty-three years. Today, most people cannot remember our church history before Bro. Harris. There were many memories of revivals, special offerings, deaths, marriages, and hurricanes. During one revival, the evangelist shocked us by saying that he knew the last name of everyone in the church - it was "Ramsey." By actual count, there were twenty-two "Ramseys" present that night. We recall that a long building, which served as our Educational Building, was put on our property in 1948. Several years later, the church split over disagreements regarding the building of a brick Educational Building. Many old men felt that they should do things the old-fashioned way, but we had dreams for a modern building. The church-split resulted in the formation of Trininty Baptist which is still here in Palacios. Today, the two churches have a very good relationship and have served the Lord together in various ways.  The Educational Building was completed in 1954.  The current brick parsonage was built in 1960.

It was during Bro. Harris' tenure that the Gulf Coast experienced a hurricane "which will not be soon forgotten." High winds and tides began affecting the coast, and a warning went out to evacuate all coastal areas. Hurricane Carla continued to stall in the Gulf, gathering strength before finally moving inland, with winds of 175 mph and 14+ foot tides. The tidal wave, or surge, swept over Palacios about 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 11, 1961, and damaged every building in town in one way or another. When the water receded, a trail of destruction scarcely imaginable was left behind. The Baptist Encampment was devasted; many buildings were gone completely and the remaining were heavily damaged. However, Hurricane Carla gave our church an opportunity to become a ministry to the people of Palacios. Our church building miraculously encountered only minimal damage and, thus, became a shelter for those whose homes were destroyed. Many people slept on cots placed in the various Sunday School classrooms.

Following Hurricane Carla, we were able to pay off the debt on the brick building and begin a nest egg for our dream of a new sanctuary. We drew up plans for a building; it wasn't exactly what we wanted due to the fact that we didn't have enough land. Our dream was modest, but the Lord had bigger plans. When the funeral home decided to relocate, their lots on Main Street were sold, and the new owners gave the lots to the church. 

Bro. E. Leon Maxwell, came in 1971, and was here for eleven years. Bro. Maxwell was a hard worker, being very dedicated in the Lord's work. During his tenue, the church enjoyed the musical talents of the Maxwell family; so well, in fact, that we even kept one of them as our own for a number of years after Bro. Maxwell left for a new field. Bro. Richard Shanks became the church's Minister of Music. During this time, Fred Walters moved to Palacios and brought all his experience as a building overseer to act as construction supervisor for the church in the building of a new sanctuary. Ground was broken for the new structure on January 20, 1977; and later the following year, on July 26, 1978, the congregation celebrated in dedicating the sanctuary to the Lord. During that time, the church experienced phenomenal growth, partly due to the leadership of the pastor and partly due to the influx of population occurring during the building of the South Texas Nuclear Plant. Following Bro. Shanks resignation, Bro. David Mercer received the call to serve as our Music & Youth Director. Bro. Maxwell resigned as pastor, leaving the church on July 16, 1981.  

Bro. Ronnie W. Floyd was called as pastor on November 15, 1981, just out of the seminary, with all sorts of new ideas to try out and we were willing guinea pigs. He laid down certain restrictions...  "Do not ever serve him peas," and "Any form of chocolate was acceptable." The ladies of the church took this to heart, always anxious to please Bro. Ronnie. Stewardship was his soapbox. He gathered a few people to consult with him as he prepared his doctorate, "but I doubt if he took any of our opinions seriously!!!" However, he did get his degree; and following the ceremony, our most "dignified" pastor celebrated with a snowball fight on campus, even while still in his doctoral robe. Big plans were always in the offing. "God's shovel is bigger than yours, so try it...!" And we did. One of Bro. Ronnie's projects was to lead the church in a Vietnamese and Spanish Literacy Program. Soon we acquired a huge Trailways bus. Mission trips were always taking place. We also used this bus for many fun trips. On one ski trip to Colorado, many non-skiers went along for the ride. The bus was equipped with tables for a constant game of "42" and Bridge. The big red bus never stopped rolling, and this ski retreat became one of our most memorable events. Bro. Mike Redden, and then later Sammie Hensen, led the children. Bro. David Mercer continued to serve as both Music & Youth Director. Bro. David was very popular with the young people and their parents in Palacios. His Youth Choir became quite large, numbering anywhere from 50 to 125, with an average of 75 youth. The Youth Choir was privileged to take several choir tours, some of which were out of state. When Bro. David was called to another field, Bro. Larry Pritchett served as Recreation & Youth Director. Only July 15, 1983, the church voted to build a Christian Life Center (CLC). Offerings were given and set aside for this project. Under Bro. Ronnie's leadership, plans were in the making to begin a mission church, west of Palacios in the Caranchaua Community. This project later materialized on October 12, 1984, when our church organized and supported this new work which became known as "Caranchaua Chapel." Bro. Hollie Briscoe felt the call to pastor this mission. The mission continues even today to minister to these people. 

In 1982, 1983 and 1984, the church led the Colorado Association in Sunday School enrollment and average attendance increase. In 1983 and 1984, the church led the Colorado Association in baptisms. In 1983, the church began a television ministry through the local cable station. In 1984, the church had a total of 119 additions, with 81 of these being baptized as new Christians. The average Sunday School attendance grew from 258 to 331 attending Bible Study each Sunday morning. The total church membership increased to 747 members. On October 28, 1984, the church experienced its highest attendance ever as 503 persons were present for Bible Study. On July 22, 1984, Dr. Ronnie Floyd resigned as pastor.

Bro. James T. (Jay) Gross, assumed his duties as pastor of First Baptist on October 21, 1984. Bro. Jay was especially gifted in the areas of counseling and ministering to the congregation, as well as preaching the Word. Those programs started by Bro. Ronnie were continued and enhanced by Bro. Jay. Construction started on the CLC in August 1985, and completed in May 1986. The building was dedicated on July 20, 1986. Following this, the church property was enlarged to include the Burton property just west of the parking lot on Welch Street. During Bro. Jay's tenure, Bro. Wade Daniel served as Music Director and Outreach Director. After Bro. Larry's resignation, Bro. Glen Barling led as Recreation & Youth Director. Bro. Sammie Hensen continued working with the children. During this time, the church lost some of its members when the South Texas Nuclear Plant was completed and they were transferred elsewhere. For example, in the period between December 1987 and August 1988, the church lost sixty families. Dr. Jay Gross resigned on September 25, 1988.

Both Bro. Ronnie and Bro. Jay completed their Doctorate degrees while here at Palacios. Having allowed these good men to continue with their education, First Baptist Church was greatly rewarded by their service to us.

Bro. Stacy Houser was no stranger to us since he had managed the Baptist Encampment for awhile, but wanted to go to the foreign mission field. He and his family spent time as missionaries until his son was ill and forced them home. We called him to be our pastor in 1988. Both Stacy and Sheila, his wife, were very mission-minded, so a sincere effort was made to welcome the numerous Vietnamese families who had settled in Palacios. Bro. Stacy resigned on May 18, 1992 and left to serve a church in Lampasas.  

Bro. Hollas Hoffman came on March 1, 1993, and a new surge of excitement began. He had his carpenter's apron on and friends to help us remodel the Educational Building. Bro. Hollas had a knack for recognizing a need and planning a solution. His next project was to skillfully lead us out of debt; in fact, he seemed to feel that this was his personal mission. One by one, he burned our notes: On September 17, 1995, the note was paid for the Sanctuary; a week later on the 24th of September, the debt retirement was celebrated with a note burning and a dinner following on the grounds. Secondly, on January 25, 1998, the debt was paid on the CLC. Bro. Hollas led in many activities, such as the purchase of the Sells property across the street east of the church on Main Street. He introduced the Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (YTT) fund. This stood for 'Yesterday's old debts, Today's missions, and Tomorrow's capital improvements.' The small note on the Burton property was paid. Because of this program, for the first time in many years, we became debt free. Missions and soul winning were paramount to Bro. Hollas. A Mexican mission and a Colorado mission were brought to fruition during his time here. During this pastor's tenure, Bro. Mark Taylor was Director of Music & Youth, and Bro. Ryan Bliss was Director of Recreation & Children. Following this team, Bro. Glen Walker served as Music & Missions Director and Kirk Hatcher was Youth & Activities Director. Then in 1998, Bro. Hollas recommended Bro. James Collins, with whom he had previously worked, to direct our music and fill various educational needs. Bro. Louis Rush was called as Youth Director. During Bro. Hollas' tenure, our church received the Billy Graham Award for Evangelism Excellence in 1996 and was later nominated for the Rural Churches of America Hospitality Award.

The summers along the Texas Gulf Coast are hot and humid, but residents of Palacios feel blessed if we escape the hurricanes. In July of  2003, the weather bureau warned the people of Freeport, Texas, to prepare for the tropical storm "Claudette" which seemed to be headed in their direction. Overnight, "Claudette" formed into a hurricane and changed her course with the eye aimed toward Palacios, much to our surprise! By that afternoon, on July 15, the storm had swept through Palacios and caused damage. First Baptist received heavy losses especially to the roofs of the Sanctuary and the CLC. The Educational Building was a total loss except for the outer walls and the foundation. Despite this discouragement, we Baptists were not defeated and soon began making plans to repair the roofs as well as rebuild. Today, we are enjoying a new Educational Building, which also houses new staff offices.

Bro. Hollas resigned in 2003, and we were ably supplied by Bro. Bob Hairston as Interim Pastor until the church called Bro. Steve Tompkins in 2004 to be our next pastor. Just nine months later, Bro. Steve felt the call to join the Army and serve as chaplain in Iraq. During Bro. Steve's brief tenure as our pastor, Bro. Louis Rush accepted the position as pastor of Trinity Baptist Church here in Palacios. Bro. James filled Lewis' job as well as his own. Bro. James was also elected as Associate Pastor of our church this same year.

At this time, Bro. Bob Hairston came back as our Interim Pastor, and we were content with his sweet ways and helpful manner. We could not do better. Earlier this year in 2005, the church voted to enter into an Intentional Interim Program with Bro. Charles Dooley as consultant. A 14-member Transition Team was elected to guide us in working through a multitude of factors related to current positive and negative issues within our church. Addressing these issues would enable us to better serve our Lord and minister to the needs of the congregation and the community. Upon completion of this program, the church anticipated calling a new pastor to lead us into the future.

Dave Gruhn was called to be our pastor in February of 2006. Dave's expertise was: he believed in prayer. He led and taught our church the importance of prayer and how to pray. Dave took an interest in our young adults and developed many ministries that would interest them and their families. Once such program was Parents' Night Out which was held once a month. Dave got us involved in our Cali, Colombia mission. Dave and his family stayed about a year and a half then accepted a call to Corpus Christi in 2007. 

After Bro. Dave left, James took over the pastorial duties while different preachers came to fill our pulpit until Bro. Zach Nicholson came as our Interim Pulpit Supply.

Shortly after, the church felt like they wanted to call Zach as pastor and he accepted the position in the summer of 2008.  One of Zach's assets was he was very conscience of youth and their needs. He hired Bro. Omar Garcia as Youth Director. Bro. Zach had many programs that involved the whole family from nursery to high school. His wife was very involved in our children's programs. Zach and Omar also went with our church to Cali, Colombia. Bro. James and Omar started a Praise Team during this time. Bro. Zach stayed a little over 2 years and then accepted a call to First Baptist Church, Rosenburg in early 2011. 

During this time, Bro. James, as Associate Pastor, took care of the pastoral duties and we hosted different ministers to fulfil our pulpit each week. The church was without a pastor for almost a year until they called Bro. Chris Webb.

Bro. Chris started on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012. He was very talented in music and drama. He also played the guitar for our Praise Team. During his tenure, Bro. Chris performed in many musical pageants and started our "Walk Through Bethleham" interactive event during the Christmas season. During Bro. Chris' first year, he hired Michael Kelly as part-time Youth Director for the summer. After Bro. Michael left, they hired Kimberly Collins. Kimberly worked as part-time Youth Director in 2013 - 2015 while she was working on her Master's Degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Chris was also very mission-minded; we supported a mission project in Cuba. Our church also supported several mission trips: Oklahoma, Alaska, Phillippines and Cali, Colombia. Bro. Chris also had a heart for Bible study as he and his wife taught classes for men and women on Wednesday nights. After 8 years, Bro. Chris resigned on Oct. 26, 2020 and accepted a call to New Harmony Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas.

At the present time, Bro. James is fulfilling the pastoral ministries and Bro. Hollas Hoffman is our Interim Pulpit Supply Pastor.

Edgar A. Guest once said, "It takes a heap of livin' in a house to make it a home." This statement also serves for churches, as well as homes. As we review the history of our church, we can recall the stress and strain of paying the preacher, feeding the orphans, raising the debt, recovering from the hurricane damages, and burying the dead. We can testify that there has also been much joy as we have seen the lost saved and baptized, the look of thanksgiving from those who needed a visit, or a word of exhortation spoken that brought a smile to a troubled countenance. We recall the annual Christmas pageants which have continued throughout the years. They always blessed not only our church members, but many folks in our community and surrounding areas as well. We remember during the Depression era when Mr. Forehand, with his pocketknife, whittled out pecans from their shells to enhance the candy made by Mrs. Feather, Mrs. Stadig, and Mrs. Elder. We remember Mrs. Cairnes, the Sunday School Superintendent, who supplemented the birthday offerings to supply the oranges. And, we remember one of the most agile Santa Clauses was Mrs. A. A. Hayes, an octogenarian, who filled her mouth with marbles to disguise her voice.  These are beautiful memories . . . happy times . . . thankful times.

Now here we are in the 21st Century. Today, as we worship together in First Baptist Church of Palacios, Texas, we look back at yesterday.  We suspect Bro. Travis and those other pioneers who paved the way for us never dreamed of such handsome facilities as we have now, nor the plans we have for our future.

What happens next? Only the future will tell. Only God knows. In the days to come, the mountain of the Lord's house shall be set over all the other mountains, lifted high above the hills. People shall come streaming to it, and many nations shall come and say:

          "Come, let us climb up in to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us His ways and we may walk in His paths."   ~~Micah 4:1-2a





Original First Baptist Church of Palacios was located on the northeast corner at the intersection of Welch and 2nd St.